For a growing number of European citizens, coming of age now has the added perk of hundreds of euros to spend on culture—be that highbrow opera performances or action-packed comic books.
Earlier this month, Germany became the latest European country to announce a culture pass for youth to spend on books, theater trips, music, museums, and movies. All young people in Germany turning 18 in 2023—which is estimated to be around 750,000 people—will be eligible for the €200 ($208) pass.
The Kulturpass has twin aims: to encourage young adults to experience live culture and drop stay-at-home pandemic habits; and give a financial boost to the arts scene, which has yet to recover from repeated lockdowns. “My hope is that the KulturPass will make young people go out and experience culture, see how diverse and inspiring it is,” says Germany’s Culture Minister Claudia Roth, who championed the initiative. “They can see a pop concert, go to a museum, or watch a play. All of that is culture.”
In March 2022, Spain announced its own €400 ($415) Youth Cultural Bonus for 18-year-olds to spend within a year on events and physical media. Similar to the German initiative, the vouchers aim to inject life back into the creative industries that have suffered under years of funding cuts and then the pandemic.